Employment of assemblers and fabricators is projected to show little or no change from 2014 to 2024.
Within the manufacturing sector, employment of assemblers and fabricators will be determined largely by the growth or decline in the production of certain manufactured goods. In general, overall employment is not expected to grow as fast as all other occupations because many manufacturing sectors are expected to become more efficient and able to produce more with fewer workers.
However, some individual industries are projected to have more jobs than others. The administrative and support services industry is projected to gain jobs over the decade as demand for temporary help services experiences growth. Thus, the need for assemblers for temporary employment is expected to grow. In most other manufacturing industries, improved processes, tools, and, in some cases, automation will reduce job growth. Automation will replace workers in operations with a large volume of simple, repetitive work.
However, automation is not expected to have a large effect on the assembly of products that are low in volume or very complicated. Intricate product manufacturing and complicated techniques often cannot be automated.
The use of team production techniques has been one factor in the continuing productivity growth of the manufacturing sector, boosting output and improving the quality of goods.
Some U.S. manufacturers have sent their assembly functions to countries where labor costs are lower. Decisions by U.S. corporations to move manufacturing to other nations may limit employment growth for assemblers in some industries.
The largest increase in the number of assemblers and fabricators is projected to be in the employment services industry, which supplies temporary workers to various industries. Temporary workers are gaining importance in the manufacturing sector and other sectors, as companies facing cost pressures strive for a more flexible workforce to meet fluctuations in the market.
Qualified applicants, including those with technical vocational training and certification, are likely to have the best job opportunities in the manufacturing sector, particularly in growing, high-technology industries, such as aerospace and electro-medical devices.
Many job openings are expected to result from the need to replace workers who leave or retire from this large occupation.
Assemblers and Fabricators
Percent change in employment, projected 2014-24
Total, all occupations
Assemblers and fabricators
Note: All Occupations includes all occupations in the U.S. Economy. Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment Projections program